R at 45th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
86th St. to 9th St., First Ave. to Eighteenth Ave.
Anyone who says you can’t find good Mexican food in NYC just doesn’t know where to look. The northern end of Sunset Park is home to a bustling Mexican community, and the deservedly popular Tacos Matamoros is where they go to enjoy authentic food from the homeland for working-class prices. Families with strawberry batida-sipping children sit alongside young bachelors slurping hominy-studded white posole, while Asian women peddle bootleg DVDs table to table. The tchotchke-free, wood-veneer-paneled dining room lacks the taquería charm of the former digs across the street, but the intensely flavored dishes remain superlative. English is a second language here, but the extensive menu has enough translations to encourage point-and-nod ordering. Tacos al pastor are made just as they are in Mexico City—stacks of spiced pork filets are roasted on a shawarma spit, then the shaved hunks of meat are served on doubled-up corn tortillas with a mild tomato-chili sauce. Adventurers can try alternative fillings like cabeza (head), cueritos (pig’s trotters), tripa (tripe), and soft lengua (tongue). For the coctel de camarones, a glass is piled high with toothsome boiled shrimp, a sweet cocktail sauce, hunks of avocado, and a wedge of lime. It’s a bargain even by Brooklyn standards.Recommended Dishes
Tacos al pastor, $1.25; chalupas verdes, $4.50; coctel de camarones, $11; orchata, $2